Monica Rodriguez Smith and her unborn child
Occupation:Port Authority of New York & New Jersey | WTC - Maintencance/Mechanical Unit SecretaryDedicated Memorial Sites:Biography:
My wife, Monica Rodriguez Smith, was the embodiment of the American Dream.
She was born on January 4, 1958 in Ecuador and came to the United States as a teenager with her parents and four brothers. She graduated from Queensborough Community College in the early 1980s and got a job right out of school working at the World Trade Center for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. She worked in the Operations Department as an administrator. Monica worked there for 11 years and never missed a day of work. In fact, the Port Authority gave her an award for achieving this very milestone shortly before she was killed.
Monica and I met at the World Trade Center. She loved her job and the people she worked with there. I made sales calls in the building and I spent two years asking her out on date. She spent two years turning me down. Eventually I got her to say yes. We got married on August 31, 1990 and moved into the house I grew up in, in Seaford, Long Island. Together, Monica and I worked on renovating the house, making it our own from top to bottom -- and building our life together.
Monica was a vivacious, outgoing person who was full of energy, she was the life of the party. At the same time, she was a natural mom to the people around her. Being the only daughter in a family of four boys, she was very comfortable at the Port Authority, an environment that was mostly men. After we got married, I worked and went to night school, and I wouldn't get home until late. Monica would make sure there was something warm for dinner waiting for me. That's just the kind of person she was.
February 26, 1993 was going to be her last day of work before going on maternity leave and she was in the World Trade Center to train the person who would be her replacement. She was seven months pregnant with our first child, a son we planned to name Eddie. Monica couldn't have been happier, we were both looking forward to his birth and becoming first-time parents. But we never got that opportunity.
To this day, Monica is missed by her mom and dad, four brothers, Ernie, Patrick, Vito and Jay, the rest of her family, her friends, and myself. She was my best friend and my inspiration. Neither Monica nor Baby Eddie will ever be forgotten.